Feb 23, 2022 - News

A smart, fast refresher: Mount Carmel murder trial

William Husel stands during a break in his trial
William Husel stands during a break in his trial. Photo: Fred Squillante/Columbus Dispatch/USA Today Network

A long-awaited trial is underway for a former Mount Carmel Health doctor accused of killing patients by overprescribing deadly levels of fentanyl.

Catch up quick: William Husel, 46, faces 14 counts of murder in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. He pleaded not guilty and his defense contends he was providing comfort care.

  • The accusations concern patient deaths from 2015 to 2018.
  • A total of 25 charges were brought forward in 2019, but 11 were dismissed before the trial began.

The latest: Husel turned down a last-minute plea deal to reduce his murder charges to reckless homicide, AP reports.

  • The first witness took the stand in the afternoon.

Between the lines: Ohio law provides immunity for a medical professional "carrying out in good faith the responsibility to provide comfort care" as a legal defense of murder.

  • The state must prove Husel ordered deadly drug amounts with an intent to kill.
  • Fentanyl is an opioid about 100 times more potent than morphine.

Of note: Mount Carmel has already settled with the families of more than 17 patients and paid out $16.7 million, with more lawsuits pending.

What's next: The trial could last two months. We'll keep you informed of any significant updates.

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